Sometimes, arriving late to something like a previously unknown band or a music genre or perhaps an album that everyone seems to have owned and played forever is not always a bad thing. It provides the exciting opportunity to trawl through a back catalogue, to seek out live performances online and best of all to track when a newly discovered artist is touring locally. Living and working in Boston in about 1999, a colleague was playing songs in the office by a group unknown to me on her cassette player (young ‘uns….look it up). Upon enquiry, I was informed it was The Indigo Girls, the tracks being ‘Closer to Fine’ and ‘Hammer and a Nail’. My introduction to the musical delights of Emily Saliers and Amy Ray was complete. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Indigo Girls “Swamp Ophelia” (Epic, 1994)”
There are few beacons of hope beaming from the USA these days but a new Indigo Girls album is surely one of them. Proudly gay and supporters of too many causes to list here, they have garnered awards galore over their career and ‘Look Long’, their first release in five years will probably gather more in the months to come given that it is on a par with their best work. Continue reading “Indigo Girls “Look Long” (Rounder Records, 2020)”
Indigo Girl Amy Ray will release her sixth solo album ‘Holler’ on November 2nd on Daemon Records, referencing traditional country, Southern rock, mountain music, gospel and bluegrass, Ray tipping her hat to the great Jim Ford 1969 release ‘Harlan County’ on the collection. Recorded live to analogue tape at Echo Mountain studio in Asheville, NC, Ray says that the “friction, freedom and restlessness” on these songs were a natural progression from ‘Goodnight Tender’, her 2014 solo album. Continue reading “New Indigo Girl Amy Ray album features an abundance of special guests”
Every festival, everywhere, delivers a special moment or two, things that it will be remembered for in years to come. This year’s Cambridge Folk Festival was no different, with two hugely significant moments.
The first was the sad death of Joan Woollard a few days before the start of the festival. The widow of Ken Woollard, who started the festival back in 1965 and was its director until his death in 1993, she was a huge folk music fan and hugely instrumental in helping Ken establish and run it. A round of applause from the crowd on Saturday night in the main stage marquee and a lower key singaround by Ken’s commemorative bench on Sunday were fitting tributes.
The second took place on Friday, when the entire main stage bill was female, as were the comperes. No tokenism here, the artistic ability and commercial clout of all nine acts meant that their slots were completely merited. There has been much debate about female musicians, or rather the lack of them, on festival bills generally and Cambridge showed that in its 52nd year it can still show the way to other events in any genre and the programmer, Bev Burton, deserves massive props. Continue reading “Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, 27-30 July 2017”
Amy Ray and Emily Saliers took to the stage to rapturous applause and resounding cheers. It’s been eight years since they last toured the UK and it was clear that the Indigo Girls had been missed as they launched into Fighting For The Love Of Our Lives, an upbeat number with lovely harmonies. For the next song, Ozilline, they were joined onstage by Lucy Wainwright Roche, who contributed on and off throughout the evening. This was followed by one of the many highlights of the evening and a clear crowd favourite, Fill It Up Again. A mesmerising song with entwined vocals that exuded feel good vibes. Continue reading “Indigo Girls, Islington Assembly Hall, London, 29th July 2017”